Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Closing Gitmo

Let me just say that I agree with everything that Kevin Drum says in this post about Obama's decision to close Guantanamo Bay on his first full day in office.

1) Guantanamo Bay really is a disgrace to anyone who's been paying attention. The Uighars, for example, are a group of men who fell victim to a long-running feud with a rival clan. The rival clan told the US military that the Uighars were secretly Taliban, a claim that they knew to be false. The US, with no evidence besides this clan's say-so, rounded up all the Uighar men, brought them to Gitmo, tortured them, and eventually realized that all of these people were completely innocent of the allegations against them. Not just that there wasn't evidence to prove them guilty, but that there was overwhelming evidence they're completely innocent. 7 years later, they're all still in solitary confinement at Gitmo, because Afghanistan doesn't want them back, and no other countries are willing to take them as refugees. So we just decided to keep them locked up, in prison, indefinitely, knowing they're innocent. The entire world knows this, and the sooner we start to make ammends, the better.

2) Closing the base the right way will take time. There's the refugee problem I talked about above. There are people who have been tortured to the point that their 'confessions' and 'information' are simply useless. And then there are just genuinely dangerous people that need to be tried, in a real court, for their crimes and dealt with appropriately. This will take time (the Obama team estimates a year), and rightly so: something this complicated just doesn't happen overnight, not when you want to do it the right way. People who complain that the base doesn't close the very same day Obama issues the order are letting their ideology blind them to reality.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Great Weekend

A few minutes ago I had a sudden thought: "You know, this was a great weekend." I have no idea what prompted it, but it's true.

I had a good time and a good dinner with Justin on Friday evening, a good time getting (wrongly) lynched by townspeople playing Mafia at Ravi's loft on Friday night, a great afternoon with Kellen on Saturday, a nice long walk in the rain on Saturday night, a relaxing Sunday morning with a purring cat sleeping at my side, then I baked 3 different kinds of muffins while watching the Eagles kick the crap out of the Giants on Sunday afternoon, and now I'm all set for a relaxing Sunday evening that I will spend cheering against Pittsburgh and trying a healthy new fish recipe from Rachel Ray that's going to be tonight's dinner.

You know, life can be good.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Today, I broke the Eat-Healthy rule.

Oh well.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

14 Days and Counting

14 days until Jan 20th, when we finally get rid of Bush. In case any of you need reminding, here's what we're getting rid of:
In December, President-elect Obama asked the White House if he and his family could move into Blair House — the White House’s guest house — a week early, so that his daughters Malia and Sasha could start school. The White House rebuffed them, saying the house was already booked for another guest. A White House source added that “Blair House was appalled” by the request.
Most people, including myself, gave the Bush White House the benefit of the doubt on this, and assumed that there actually was someone booked.

As ThinkProgress now reports, that wasn't exactly the case. Rather, Blair House was completely free when the Obama's asked, and only after the fact did Bush ask former Australian PM Howard to come and stay, for one night only, so that Bush could have a plausible excuse for denying the Obamas' request.

*Sigh* ... there are words to describe people like this. "Petulant" and "childish" come to mind. Jan 20th can't come quick enough.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

Isn't it weird how a completely arbitrary date like January 1st is associated with turning one's life around and starting to do all the things you already should be doing? Anyway, without further ado, here are Nik's Resolutions for 2009:

#1: Have a Clean Apartment
I have a tendency to let dishes pile up beside the sink, usually to the point where washing them becomes a major chore and takes a while. I also have a tendency to put off dusting and vacuuming. Neither is conducive to good health. Henceforth, I resolve that everytime I leave the apartment, it will be clean enough to bring someone else back to it without embarrassment.

#2: Cook Better, Eat Better
There are really 3 different pieces to this: better ingredients, more variety, and better portion sizes. Watching Top Chef made me remember why I used to get so excited about cooking, and looking at my recent menus I came to the realization that they're pretty boring. Boring stuff off a shelf put together in a boring way. Feh, I say! Henceforth, I resolve to make a new dish at least every other week, using ingredients that actually look like something one could find in nature, plus the occasional dabble with tofu.

#3: Get in Shape
Does this one really need an explanation? Nah, didn't think so. It's been up there for a while, let's see if 2009 is the magic year.


It's officially 2009! Let's make it a year to remember, shall we? I resolve ... to start my resolutions later. I'm pooped. I'm going to bed.